Cheddar Broccoli Orzo is an easy, weeknight favorite made on your stove top or instant pot! This cozy casserole comes together in less than 30 minutes and is cheesy and creamy!
Cheddar Broccoli Orzo:
It’s time for another amazing, super cozy and comforting one pot dinner! I love our easy Parmesan Chicken Orzo so much, I really wanted to do a cheddar cheese version too! The sharp cheddar and broccoli are so perfect with this simple pasta! Kind of similar to our favorite Broccoli Cheddar Soup but more hearty with the addition of the orzo. I can’t get enough of the broccoli cheese combo, it’s one of my favorites and I’m always looking for more ways to incorporate it into any dinner recipe.
This is a true one pot/skillet meal done right on the stove top, or in your instant pot! No oven pre-heating and/or baking required here. All you need for this recipe is butter, onion, garlic, orzo, some dried (or fresh) herbs, seasonings, broccoli, broth and a couple of cheeses! We use cream cheese and cheddar to give this a rich flavor without any heavy cream needed. Sometimes simple meals are best, and this one truly hits the spot, plus kids and adults alike will totally devour a pot of broccoli cheese anything!
Notes and Tips for Success:
- I know some of you may not be familiar with orzo, but it is actually a pasta, not rice! Basically, it’s a rice shaped pasta! You can find it at almost any grocery store with the other dried/shelf stable pastas.
- Make sure you don’t skip toasting the orzo in the butter! It doesn’t take long but you will see some of the orzo turn a toasty brown color, this adds lots of flavor to the dish and is worth the extra step.
- I used salted butter for this recipe, but unsalted could work fine too. If using unsalted, just make sure you taste and add salt as needed before you serve this at the table!
- Now, like I talk about with some of my other cheesy recipes, do not skip the dijon mustard and hot sauce! These additions add a really necessary flavor to dishes with cheese so that they don’t come out flat or bland. Don’t worry, you wont taste the mustard and hot sauce, it’s just flavoring. Also, because I get asked a lot, my personal favorite hot sauce is Cholula brand. I love it because it’s tangy and not too spicy.
- I only used cream cheese and cheddar in this recipe, but you could add other cheeses if you wish. As far as the cream cheese, you can use low fat or full fat, either is fine. I also think this would be tasty with some Parmesan or Gruyere cheese too.
Cheddar Broccoli Orzo
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 Medium Onion Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Pound Orzo
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Hot Sauce *I use Cholula brand
- 4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 3 Cups Broccoli Florets
- 4 Ounces Cream Cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
STOVE TOP METHOD:
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, and orzo to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Add the oregano, basil, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, hot sauce, broth, and broccoli to the pan and stir to combine.
- Simmer over medium heat for 9-12 minutes, until the orzo is soft, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the cream cheese and 1 cup of the shredded cheddar. Taste and add more salt & black pepper if desired.
- Turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow the cheese to melt, about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve immediately and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
INSTANT POT METHOD:
- Turn the instant pot to saute mode and add the butter.
- Once melted add the onion, garlic and orzo and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes (the instant pot cooks faster and we don't want the garlic to burn).
- Turn the instant pot off and add in the oregano, basil, salt, pepper, mustard, hot sauce, broth and broccoli and stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the pot and seal the valve. Turn the pot onto manual/high pressure for 5 minutes, keeping in mind the pot will take about 5-8 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once the cook time is up, do a quick release of the pressure.
- Stir in the cream cheese and cheddar and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.